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'Prison Break' Extended

2 Aug, 2006 By: Jessica Wolf

The cast of “Prison Break” is hot.

Seriously, the guys' characters have broken out of jail and are now filming in Dallas, where — well, it's hot, cast and creators said during a recent Critics Association panel in Pasadena, Calif.

The second season of the Fox hit show starts Aug. 21, and the season-one DVD set arrives Aug. 8 from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment — just in time for fans to get caught up on the story of a devoted young man who risks life, limb and freedom to break his big brother out of jail.

“The first season does inform the second season,” said creator-writer Paul Scheuring.

“We encourage everyone to go out and pick up the DVD at full retail value,” he joked.

That DVD viewing is valuable for new viewers because creators always envisioned “Prison Break” as a large, finite composition.

“The idea was always a 44-episode narrative. The halfway point is the escape, which we got to at the end of the first season,” Scheuring said.

The creators have had to rethink that mindset a bit, with the success of the show and the great potential for a third season.

“We're now framing the first two seasons as chapter one of a trilogy,” he said.

One of the most unique elements of the show is younger brother Michael Scofield's (Wentworth Miller) tattoo, which includes hidden codes that outline his elaborate escape plan.

The tattoo is an extra feature on the set in the featurette “Beyond the Ink.”

What it isn't, Miller said, is comfortable. The breakout star spends four hours a day getting the ink for filming.

“They were smart enough not to tell me what a big part of the plot it would be,” he joked. “I'm much less a fan of it than I was when we started. But really it's the most ambitious faux tattoo in TV shows or movie, and it's gotten people tuning in because of it. It's such a great set piece.”

Set pieces played a huge part in the first season, cast and writers said. “Prison Break's” inaugural run was filmed almost entirely in Chicago's Joliet prison. One of the featurettes is all about shooting at the famed penitentiary: “If These Walls Could Speak: Profile of the Joliet Correctional Center.”

Now that a crew of inmates are on the loose, a lot of changes are in store for the look, feel and characterization of the show, said writer-creator Matt Olmstead. The two leads are very optimistic about that.

“The last year was hard for me because I was incarcerated,” said Dominic Purcell, who plays older brother Lincoln Burrows. “I got bored as an actor.”

Purcell said he'd like to actually see his on-screen little brother smile, and dive at the back story between the two brothers in the second season as they remain on the lam.

“I'm looking forward to the two of us negotiating a very complex relationship between these two men,” Miller said. “In jail, Michael was the man in charge, the one with the plan. He's had a taste of what it's like to be the big brother. But now that they are out, the dynamic is totally different.”

Purcell and writers Scheuring and Olmstead all provide commentary on the DVD set, along with other cast and crew.

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